Throughout the past summer (most noticeably during August’s often bizarre Town Halls on health care policy which prompted some to arrive onsite with guns) the tone of right-wing media outlets and pundits against Barack Obama reached a fever pitch - beginning with valid concerns about Federal spending before quickly blazing into ultra-paranoid rhetoric about Obama being a closet fan of Stalin, Hitler and (apparently) Lex Luthor.
Now with next week’s televised speech by Obama to the nation’s schoolkids—for which viewing is optional—Howard Beale wannabes like Glenn Beck (whose grip on sanity seems to fade each day, not that his fans seem to mind) are bleating words like “indoctrination” and “brainwashing” as parents in various states are lobbying their school districts to boycott Obama’s address which covers implicitly Marxist ideas like kids working hard, and taking responsibility for their own education.
Sure, the nation will survive Obama’s speech—as it did his earth-shattering remarks to Notre Dame grads last May—but then I wonder what insane woobie the right will cling to next? More birther horseshit? Runors that the Obama girls are a product of human cloning experiments at Area 51?
Absurd or not, what concerns me most is that this brand of ultra-paranoid rhetoric is that it seems to be spreading from the grimy corners from which it spawned into the greater media. And as such, that it will prompt some lunatic fueled by Glenn Beck (or Sean Hannity or Michelle Malkin) to take a shot at Obama in the name of “watering the tree of liberty with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”
God forbid this should ever occur to Barack Obama (or any president).
Yet if such an incident were to happen, it will be those in right-wing talk radio and other hyper-conservative media outlets who will have enabled it by pouring their rhetorical gas into a crowded room, waiting for someone to strike a match, then acting shocked and appalled when a fire breaks out.
No one has to like Obama or his policies, but I have never seen such insane and angry bile spouted at an American president in my adult life. And I am sorely worried that it will lead to something tragic.